I wrote a couple days ago about how I have not had a cold since I entered treatment, and that I think it is from my improved immunity. Yes, in my new healthier state, I probably have a stronger immune system, but it is not perfect. Now with that old familiar runny nose, scratchy throat, and malaised body feeling, I am all the more grateful that I escaped illness for as long as I did.
I used to like being sick for multiple reasons. One is that I could never find it in my heart to allow myself much-needed breaks from work just for the sake of recharging. It took being rundown for me to cave in and take care of my needs. Also, being sick made it easier for me to accept help from people that I was otherwise too afraid to ask for when healthy.
In my recovery, I am learning to take breaks and ask for help even when I am physically healthy. I deserve time off and I deserve support.
Another aspect of being sick I used to enjoy is that I have almost no appetite when I have a cold. Being sick used to help me restrict, and I would use physical illness as an excuse for losing weight. When I had pneumonia from Christmas to New Years nearly three years ago, a couple of my sisters were worried that I had anorexia because I was rapidly shrinking. In my eating disorder denial, I thought pneumonia alone was an adequate excuse for skipping meals. While people without eating disorders may lose some weight when they have a cold, the flu, pneumonia, etc., it is not normal to lose as much as weight from a single illness as I did back then.
Today, I’m working on eating at my default times, whether or not I feel hungry. It’s ok for me drink a protein Naked juice for breakfast when my throat is too scratchy for my usual cereal or bagel. And, I am thankful for the chicken noodle soup Ben bought for me last night that I am soon going to enjoy as my lunch.
I have an experiment to run in lab today so I’m stuck at work through the afternoon, but I look forward to curling up in bed and watching The Wire later tonight.